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An Iron Lady from Humble Origins: A Lesson in Courage

Posted by Anna Burnstein Gilette on 11/20/2020

In 1898 Goldie Mabovitch was born in Kiev, Ukraine. One of Goldie’s first childhood memories was watching her father board up their home in fear that a pogrom would soon be on their doorstep. It is hard to imagine such an experience through the eyes of a child. It would profoundly shape Goldie’s world perspective in the years to come.

In 1906 Goldie’s family, like so many others in search of greater opportunity and safety, journeyed across the ocean to build a new life in the United States. They eventually settled in Milwaukee.

Goldie was a keen student, but it bothered her that many of the working-class kids in her school could not afford books. With a group of her friends she formed the American Young Sisters Society. Their mission—to raise enough money to buy books for all the kids in their class. And you know what? They did!


Later in life, Goldie would say that she never gave too much thought as to whether an undertaking might be successful or not. “If I felt it was the right thig to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome,” she said.

Imagine what the world might be like if we all trusted our instinct to stand up for what is right and just without worrying about how people might perceive us or whether we would be successful.

In 1969, that little girl from Kiev would become Prime Minister of Israel despite the fact that many people believed it was a “man’s job.” She would prove them wrong. The world will always remember her as Golda Meir, Israel’s iron lady. Read more about her courageous early life in Goldie Takes a Stand.

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